He later told AFP he hoped the new coach would “build further on the successes the team has attained in the past months.”
McKinstry, 34, formerly worked as coach for the Sierra Leone and Rwanda national teams as well as Lithuanian side Kauno Zalgiris and Saif Sporting in Bangladesh.
He takes over from Desabre, who left the position in July for Egypt’s Pyramids FC after guiding Uganda to the last 16 of the 2019 AFCON finals.
“I am delighted and honoured to serve Uganda and I thank FUFA for choosing me as the new coach,” McKinstry told AFP.
“The Cranes is one of the best teams on the African continent and I am excited about the opportunity and I promise to make the team better.”
McKinstry will also be expected to secure the Cranes’ maiden qualification to a World Cup, with Qatar 2022 the most immediate target.
McKinstry was named on the Uganda shortlist in 2017 to replace Serbian Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, only for Desabre to be appointed instead.